The latest action by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) against Borders bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz Â amounts to “malicious prosecution,” said Sisters in Islam (SIS).
â€œSisters in Islam expresses disappointment with the action of the Chief Syariah Prosecutor and Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department who continue to commit acts of intimidation against Nik Raina and contempt against the High Court and Court of Appeal orders,” it said in a statement.
It noted that the courts had instructed the prosecutor to withdraw and cease any arrest and prosecution against Nik Raina.
â€œThe prosecution of Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz is an abuse of court processes and (amounts to) malicious prosecution,â€ SIS said.
On Feb 26, Nik Raina, accused of disseminating and distributing a controversial book by Canadian author Irshad Manji, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Syariah High Court.
On Sunday, however, Nik Rainaâ€™s lawyer, Rosli Dahlan, said Chief Syarie Prosecutor Mohamad Adib Husain had directly served a notice of appeal to his client although he was listed as the solicitor on record.
SIS said the actions by Jawi and the Chief Federal Syariah Prosecutor were in contempt of the Federal Constitution and Islamic principles, and painted a negative image of local Islamic authorities and Islam as a whole.
SIS urged the Attorney-General, as â€œguardian of the public interest,â€ to take appropriate action against the Syariah prosecutor and Jawi.
â€œNik Rania Nik Abdul Aziz has been treated like a criminal even though she was has not been tried by the Syariah Court.
“This is contradictory to the principle of â€“ Al Aslu Baraah Al Zimmah â€“ innocent until proven guilty by the court â€“ which is a basis of the Islamic criminal justice system,â€ SIS said.
SIS argued that the actions of Jawi violated articles 5, 8, 10 and 11 of the Federal Constitution which touch on fundamental freedoms.
â€œIt also opens doors to discrimination against Muslim workers who may also have to deal with prosecutions similar to that which has been done unto Nik Rania Nik Abdul Aziz,â€ said SIS.
On, March 2012, Jawi raided the bookstore for stocking the books and arrested Nik Raina.
She was charged under Section 13 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 in June 2012 for the offence of “disseminating and distributing” by way of selling the books deemed contrary to Islamic law.
On Dec 30 last year, the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya ruled that Jawiâ€™s seizure of the books was unlawful.-The Star